So I have this friend.
Her pals call her Sensei, because among them, she is a master at Facebook stalking. “Teach me your ways, Sensei!” her minions plead, but she declines. “Facebook stalking mastery can only be achieved after years of practice and meticulous learning combined with innate, creepy skill,” she explains. “Many will explore the art, but few will realize it to its fullest potential.”
Thankfully for you people, I happen to already be tired of writing about myself in the third person. I also happen to consider self-deprecation one of the finest forms of humor. So I will go ahead and tell you that I, in fact, am Sensei. Moreover, my friend Meghan is the only one who calls me Sensei, and she does so because she struggles to find other ways to incorporate that word into her everyday vocabulary. Mainly, those friends to whom my skills have been exposed are simultaneously disturbed and bewildered. I pride myself in my abilities, as I abandoned shame ages ago.
Facebook creeping, you see, is indeed a craft. Since I presume that roughly 98% of those of you reading this entry discovered it from facestalking me (And yes, news feed counts. You still had to make the effort and click. Trust me, from one facestalker to another, I am flattered either way), I shall enlighten you about three of the most crucial ground rules of facestalking etiquette.
Do not. I repeat, DO NOT facestalk in public. I am referring mainly to classtime facestalking, mainly in lecture halls or anything with stadium seating. If you don’t feel creepy while you’re doing this, I guarantee you that the person behind you, watching you stalk over your shoulder, feels sufficiently creepy for both you and himself. He might even know the person you’re facestalking. He wishes you would X out. I second that. Do so immediately.
HOWEVER, if you must creep, I suggest a trio of mechanisms that might help your creepage become more subtle and less uncomfortable for yourself and those around you:
- Screen Tilt: tilting your screen back to an approximately110-degree angle might slightly impair your view of your own Facebook, but it will even more severely impair that of anyone behind or next to you. Both sneaky and efficient, the screen tilt will reduce sketchiness and increase comfort.
- Screen Brightness: when properly combined with adequate screen tilt, minimizing screen brightness will render your Facebook actions virtually invisible to those around you. Even in a crowded room.
- Body Position: this form of facestalking might lead to scoliosis, but if you are fully committed, you can freely stalk anytime, anywhere. Simply slouch or hunch your shoulders behind your laptop to create a natural barrier between your classmates and your computer screen. Less secretive than the other two, but equally successful.
Congratulations and you’re welcome; you have achieved what you thought was the impossible. You are among the ranks of the creepiest but most efficient creepers. For that reason, I’d prefer that if anyone asks, you not give me credit. Indeed, if you are going to Facebook creep on anyone in the open, why don’t you go ahead and visit my profile? Then open up this blog. Tilt your screen back up, readjust the brightness, and lean as far back in your rolly chair as you can go. Don’t minimize the window for the rest of class. I need the publicity.
Also, if you have visited the profile of someone prior to meeting or talking to them, do not blatantly bring up their interests, activities, or favorite things in the first legitimate conversation you have. I know this is tempting because it can simulate conversation, but it’s only successful if properly executed. If you read that a stalkee’s favorite movie is Death Race and you think that movie was, like, sooo sweet, don’t change the subject of your conversation from the classes you’re taking this semester to your favorite movies/how you think Death Race is the greatest movie of all time. Not only is the stalkee probably kidding about Death Race being his favorite film (please, Lord, may no soul ever consider any film starring Jason Statham except the Guy Ritchie ones a fine piece of cinema), but you look like a creeper and a fool. Goodbye awkward moment-free conversation and potential friendship.
Finally, however, you are not alone. Everybody stalks, at least a little.
True story: the other day, I was creeping on some guy with whom I have a mutual friend. I’ve met him once. Thanks to the recent changes in Facebook’s privacy settings, most people’s default pictures are open to everyone (Yeah, fun fact. Of course I have discovered this), so I was checking his out. Lo and behold, I WAS IN ONE OF THEM. For whatever reason, we had gotten a picture taken together. He had seen it. I felt sufficiently creeped out, albeit honored. For even though he had been creepy to default a picture he’d taken with strangers, I felt even worse to have stumbled upon it. Never again, never again.
Please don’t think less of me. And may you creep in peace.